May 3, 2012 / 11:05 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Lamar Advertising loss rises on debt repayment

May 3 (Reuters) - Billboard operator Lamar Advertising Co’s quarterly loss increased as it refinanced debt through an early repayment of some notes, and the company forecast second-quarter revenue below analysts’ expectations.

Lamar said it expects about $303 million in revenue for the second quarter, below market estimates of $305.1 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company, whose top customers last year included McDonald’s Corp, Verizon Communications Inc and Burger King Corp, said it lost about $30 million in the first quarter by paying back some notes due in 2015.

The net loss increased to $22.8 million, or 25 cents per share, for the quarter ended March 31 from $13.2 million, or 14 cents per share, a year earlier.

Lamar, which competes with Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc and CBS Corp-held CBS Outdoor, operates in 44 U.S. states as well as Canada and Puerto Rico.

CBS Outdoor posted a 1 percent rise in quarterly revenue on Tuesday, helped by stronger performance in the Americas, while revenue from Europe dropped on the non-renewal of certain contracts and weakness in the economy.

France-based peer JCDecaux SA, the world’s biggest outdoor advertising group, resumed dividend payments in March after a three-year break, signaling optimism about economic recovery.

Revenue rose 4.3 percent to $266.2 million.

Lamar’s shares have fallen 4 percent since touching a year-high on Feb. 22, a day after it forecast first-quarter revenue above analysts’ estimates.

The S&P 1500 Advertising Sub-Industry Index has risen 6 percent over the same period.

Lamar shares closed at $31.80 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq.

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